Opinion: Reading is FUNdamental


Kylie Pagud

The newest additions to my book collection. Going out of my comfort zone and indulging in Colleen Hoover books.

Throughout school, from elementary school through high school, I was given multiple books to read for assignments. The one book that stuck with me was “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Not because I read it, but the great lengths I went to avoid reading it. 

I had decided that I still wasn’t going to read it, despite the essay about the book being worth a majority of the class grade, so I looked up any summaries and analyses I could on Google. I was getting nowhere with finding the information I needed. I asked my classmates for their notes and/or a copy of their essays. I skimmed their essays, took the main ideas and manipulated them into my own words.

I was able to produce a decent essay while still not knowing anything about the book. Even to this day, I don’t understand why it’s called “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Is there even a mockingbird present in the book?

Up until this past summer, I hated reading, especially if it was school related. But it was my first summer not taking any summer classes, leading to hours of free time. At a certain point, not even Netflix satisfied my craving for entertainment. So out of sheer boredom and curiosity due to TikTok, I picked up a book. To my surprise, after years of hatred, I loved reading. So I read another. And another.

Never in a million years would I picture myself reading. Yet here I am on my 39th book in the span of 5 months, and I’m proud to say I love reading.

Trying new things has always been out of my comfort zone. By taking the safe route, I’d never be disappointed. However, that wasn’t the case when I chose to read my first book. 

Once I picked up the book, I found it hard to put it down, and I managed to read half the book in one sitting. When I saw what page I was on and the time, I was stunned. I got lost in the book in the best way possible; my imagination was flowing through me like I was a different person. Every scene pulled me like I was a part of the story. 

At first, it felt weird to be reading but the more I did it the more I fell into routine. It felt natural and comforting to just sit and read. I became so hooked that I took a book with me everywhere I went and would indulge whenever I had free time.

As someone who thought she lacked creativity, it amazed me how my imagination carried me. That’s why I hated reading growing up: I doubted my ability to be creative and draw a picture in my head using the words on the pages. 

When it came to books, I “judged a book by its cover.” Not once did I read a book cover to cover before this summer. When I saw a book I thought, “Why would anyone want to read for fun?” I had judged books before I got the chance to explore them. 

I took a leap of faith by indulging in something I hated, turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy. It can be uncomfortable in the moment, but in the long run it’s worth it. Reading for the first time was hard.  I wasn’t into the book until halfway through, it was challenging to keep reading even though I may not have liked it. Forcing myself to finish a book is how I got through a handful of books I’ve read. The satisfaction of finishing a book is so rewarding, it makes me want to read another. 

Changing your perspective and experiencing new things can be hard but if the determination is there, accomplishing your goal will be that much easier. 

Six months ago, I would have never imagined myself reading books, let alone loving them. I stepped out of my comfort zone and couldn’t be more proud of myself. I love reading and it changed my life for the better.